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Scott Walker unlikely to veto bills awaiting his signature

Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio

Chances are slim that Governor Scott Walker will veto any of the Republican bills that are headed to his desk, if recent history is any guide.

Since Walker was sworn in as governor and Republicans took control of the Legislature in 2011, he has signed more than 430 bills into law without vetoing a single bill in its entirety. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee says it shows that the fractures that exist between some governors and legislatures have not emerged here.

“I think we have to recognize the extraordinary harmony in political philosophies that there is between the governor and the two houses of the Legislature,” said Lee.

Walker won’t always talk publicly about the controversial bills sent to his desk, sometimes saying they're “not on his radar” or that he's focused on other issues. Lee says it's a testament to the governor's political skills.

“His public comments are almost always limited to talking about economic issues and the need to create jobs, the need to cut taxes,” said Lee. “And yet he’s been in perfect harmony with some of the highly partisan bills that the Legislature has sent him.”

That scenario could play out again in coming days: Republicans sent Walker a bill that would restrict early voting hours and ban it on weekends. Walker will only say that he will review the proposal. Newspaper editorial boards have called on Walker to veto the bill, but Lee says not to expect it.

“If he were to veto this bill, I will eat my shoe live on Wisconsin Public Radio at a time and place that you designate,” said Lee. “I don't think there's any chance that he would veto it.”

Walker has issued partial vetoes of six bills since taking office, including on both of his state budgets.